Saturday 12th August 2017, the opening day of this years Edinburgh International Book Festival.
The countdown for this festival has been on pretty much since the end of last years festival and it is finally time. I have been trying to decide how I am going to write up this years event and I think a diary like situation is going to work out. So, get your cuppa ready and get comfy.
Unfortunately, day one of the festival was a Saturday which meant I was working all day long so I missed out on a lot of the excitement of the first day of the festival. Although, I did luck out on one thing, I got tickets to see the one and only Paula Hawkins.
If you have been living under a rock, Paula Hawkins is the incredible author of Girl On The Train. If you haven’t read it yet, stop everything and read it now! And no cheating, read the book. I mean, the film is alright, but the book is next level amazing.
Paula Hawkins was here to talk about her newest book, Into The Water. Confession time, I haven’t read it yet. I know, I know. What sort of fan am I? I promise, it is on my list! Anyways, back to the event…
The event was chaired by Lee Randall, and lasted an hour. The format of the event centred around a conversation between Lee and Paula, before opening up to audience questions.
Although I hadn’t read the book, it was interesting to hear about Paula’s writing process as well as the story and characters of Into The Water. In the book, if I remember correctly, there are 11 different narrators telling the story of the mysterious death of Nel. There was a lot of discussion around family life and the way we tell the stories of our pasts. She talked a lot about how we remember our pasts and what we believe our truths are, and that they are not always how things really happened. Without giving too much away about the book, it seems like that is a huge focus of the storyline.
And of course, she couldn’t escape questions about Girl On The Train. It is one of my current favourite books, and I was really reluctant to go watch the film because I had such a clear image in my head of Rachel, the area of London and the area where all the action happens. The film stars the beautiful Emily Blunt and takes place in New York City, rather than London, which to me totally changes it all. I was the first person to ask a question. I wanted to know how she felt about the film being set in a different location, because it actually really upset me! She was pretty diplomatic in her answer, though I guess she had to be. She explained the reasoning behind it, New York being a bit more cinematic & dramatic for the screen, and that she didn’t have much of a say in the location of the film. Following from that, a few people picked up on the use of Emily Blunt as the lead character, even though Rachel is an alcoholic and was never imagined to be so beautiful.
The bar was set pretty high for the rest of the festival after this. Paula Hawkins is incredibly talented and I was just in awe of her as I sat in the audience.
Although this was my only event on the first Saturday, I had a great time soaking in the atmosphere and making my way through my pile of Book Festival books.